By NSANZUMUHIRE Francois, Class of 2012

his year in our Tikkun Olam group we worked to help a vulnerable widow. She

lost her kids and a husband in the Genocide of 1994 and she had nothing in

terms of materials, not even hope for the future, and she experienced great

loneliness. We hoed her small farm, rebuilt her toilet and her kitchen

(Inside and outside) and were able to finish all the projects.

She lives nearby our home (Agahozo-Shalom), she’s very close to our

farm. Personally I learned many things from this mother and she tried

to join us in our activities even though it was too sunny and rainy and difficult for her to

work. She came often to show us the right way to hoe and while she was

doing that she inspired us by telling us long stories (imigani in

Kinyarwanda) and everyone in the group enjoyed learning from her.

We ended our Tikkun Olam activities on 12 October 2010 and said goodbye to

her. It was so sad and difficult to tell her that this was the end of our

work with her. That day, she shared with us a story about her childhood. She

said that she did the same thing for others as we were doing for her,

and that now people (us) came to help her which means that we will be repaid

in the same way in the future. She encouraged us to continue to work hard

because life is not easy, and she ended her talk by sharing sugar canes with

us from her farm and giving us a blessing: *Imana Ibahe umugisha* (May God

bless you.) After receiving her blessings we invited her to our Tikkun Olam

Event in the village, which will be held 5 November 2010, and promised that

we’d visit her in the future.